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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SNIFT, v., n.

I. v. To puff, snort, blow. Specif., of the elements: to swirl on gusts of wind; of hail: to rattle briskly in falling (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).Sc. 1865 S. Smiles Engineers IV. 135:
The machine snifted at many openings.
Ags. 1869 R. Leighton Poems 296:
Rain, and sleet, and snaw, Whilk sperge and snift athort the lift.

II. n. A sniff, a smell, whiff, a scent, a trace. Also in Eng. dial. Deriv. snifty, haughty, disdainful (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; em.Sc.(b), Wgt., Rxb. 1971). Cf. colloq. and dial. Eng. sniffy, snuffy, id.Edb. 1894 Chambers's Jnl. (8 Sept.) 572:
And there's been neither word, smell, nor snift o' him since!

[Prob. reduced form of Snifter, q.v.]

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"Snift v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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